I’ve been given the chance to be a kid again for the last week and a half, visiting many of my favorite childhood places like Great America, San Francisco Zoo, and the California Academy of Science. Ofcourse, they have all been renovated and updated since I was a kid, which made it all the more fun for my sister and I to revisit!
We’ve taken Brianne and Bridgette to the zoo before when they were 2 and a half years old. It didn’t make too much of an impression on them then, other than the dipping dots and churros. This time though, they were very specific on which animals they wanted to visit. Brianne requested to see the monkeys while Bridgette had her heart set on the elephants. Unfortunately for Bridgette though, there were no elephants at the S.F. Zoo! Luckily, she was still perfectly happy with all the other animals…
The California Academy of Sciences closed in 2003 for a major, major renovation. It reopened in 2008, and has become one of the most popular, must-see attraction in San Francisco. Not only is it an architectural treasure, but it is also a mesmerizing, awe-inspiring museum that illustrates how we are tied to the life forces of our earth. It boasts as the world’s largest live indoor coral reef and incorporates an amazing 4 story rainforest, amongst many other wonderful exhibits throughout the museum.
We decided to take the kids on the third Wednesday of this month, which is the museum’s “Free Day”. We should have known that the rest of the city would decide to go on the same day as well. When we arrived after lunch, the line to get into the museum was about a mile long. We probably would have had to wait at least 2 hours in that line, so we aborted the idea and instead, ventured off across the street to a small playground inside Golden Gate Park. After an hour of slides and sand, we took the girls to the De Young Museum to wash up. While there, I decided it’d be nice to look at the city from their Observation Tower, so up we went, and it was a spectacular day with 360 degree clear views!
To our delight, we saw from the Observation Tower that the line for the California Academy of Sciences across the street had pretty much dispersed, so we hurried over to enjoy the last hour and a half of the museum’s free admission day.
“How come they are dead mommy? I don’t want them to be dead!” Bridgette kept saying.
Fortunately, they accepted my brief explanation of the mounting process for museums, and were able to enjoy the other live exhibits such as the penguins, albino alligator, and the beautiful aquarium.
Great America is always one of our favorite outings for the summer. Their water park has been expanding greatly, so it’s like visiting a theme park + water park in one! The girls had the BEST time there last week, and thoroughly surprised my sister and I with their newfound bravery. They actually requested to go on a ride that was similar to the Splash Mountain at Disneyland, with a pretty big vertical drop!
After Great America, we had dinner at my sister’s college buddy’s home in San Jose. We had homemade pho (Vietnamese beef noodles) and lemon pepper wings from Wing Stop, yum!!! The girls loved playing with little Damon, who recently turned 18 months and has the longest lashes I’ve ever seen!
On Mondays, the girls’ cousin Jovian does not need to go to school, so he joined us for another boisterous day under the glorious sunshine. We started the morning off with a picnic in Rinconada Park in Palo Alto, where the kids feasted on chips, fruits, and cupcakes in between games of tag and duck, duck, goose. Then, we walked to the nearby Rinconada Pool to enjoy the fantastic wading pool. Big thanks to my friend Dana, for posting her recent visit to this pool on her blog, or I would have never known about it! It is probably the best public pool for kids that I’ve seen, and the kids loved it immensely!
That night, we dined at Elephant Bar with my cousin Connie who is a fun-loving aunt to Jovi and the girls! 🙂 We spent a good amount of time evaluating all the calories that corresponded to each plate on the menu, trying to get the tastiest value for the calories to be consumed. We were pretty disciplined in ordering salads (dressing to the side, please!) and healthy dishes like ahi tuna, but we totally failed when it came time to order desserts. Together, we indulged in 2 mud pies and 1 strawberry shortcake! I believe the calorie count for those equated to about 4500….oops!
Wow, just recapping these recent activities made me feel tired! It really is physically exhausting taking 2 young children out every day, but they’ve been so happy, and so good with each other, that makes it totally worth it!!